Posted by: johnocunningham | November 3, 2011

Social Media Pitfalls

A recent article in Law Technology News highlighted just a few of the hidden hazards of social media.

While LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media provide powerful tools for marketers, they also present potential pitfalls to those who fail to keep up with new legal rules relevant to these media.

For instance, some state laws provide that there is no right to privacy for information contained on social networking sites, even though the information poster may have activated some kind of “restricted” access options on any given site.

Thus, a posting intended for a relatively narrow audience could prove to be discoverable in a lawsuit or could be reproduced by a poster in another forum with little or no recourse.

On the other hand, litigators and legal investigators cannot take this as license to “discover” social media postings by whatever means possible. There are bar rules and, in some states, bar decisions that clearly prohibit the use of deceptive tactics, such as fake “friending” used to obtain information under false pretenses.

Social media policy, practice, training and enforcement will be addressed at this year’s New England LMA Conference on Friday Nov. 4.  Revisit this blog later this month for a link  to the summary of input from the conference program on social media policy, practice, training and enforcement.


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